Turkey Gumbo (or What To Do With Those Leftovers)

Ah, what to do with that leftover bird. I make it a rule to never go out shopping the day after Thanksgiving – instead I hang out at home make this soup for leftovers. Let others shop, I cook.

6 cups chicken or turkey stock
2 cups water
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
3 cups diced onion
1 lb. smoked sausage (I use Hillshire Farms)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups cups cooked, chopped cooked turkey meat
1/4 cup gravy from prior turkey meal – (optional, but very good)
1 large Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. pepper
Salt – be careful here, the stock & meat might already be enough salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked bow tie noodles, or 1 cup uncooked rice

For the Roux:
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour

In a large pot bring the the first 6 ingredients to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and let cook for 20-30 minutes. Now add everything else except the noodles, and keep this simmering for another 10 minutes. Add the noodles, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. It will continue to cook as you prepare the roux, below.

Keep the soup at a low simmer while you spoon off 3 cups of clear soup – do this as best you can and set aside. Then into a medium pot melt the butter and add the flour, stirring constantly while it cooks for at least 1 full minute. Slowly add the 3 cups clear soup – just a little at a time – and stir constantly on high heat until it gets thicker and thicker. The goal here is to create a very smooth pastelike roux. Mix this into the soup, while stirring and stir well.


Creamed Carrot Puree

A lovely vegetable side dish which we served alongside baked chicken. 

2 cups water
l lb. carrots, trimmed, cut into small chunks and you don’t even have to peel them
1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 – 1/2 cup of the hot cooking water
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (dark brown sugar, if possible)
1/2 cup half-n-half

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish; set aside.

Meanwhile, place water and carrot in a pot, set to boil, add salt then cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until easiy pierced with a fork. Drain, saving the cooking water, and place the drained carrot in a food processor.  Take about 1/4 cup of the cooking water, place into processor and blend, adding more water – not too much, blend again then add the butter and sugar and process until smooth.  Empty into the baking dish, stir in half-n-half & bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

The Best Apple Pie

This will also become your best apple pie recipe. Just wait till you taste it!

2 unbaked pie crusts
About 6 med-large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chunked
1/2 cup sugar
A pinch (1/8 tsp.) kosher salt
1-1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch or flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
A pinch (1/8 tsp.) nutmeg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, diced
1 Tbsp. milk or half-n-half
1 Tbsp. sugar

Place one of the pie crusts in your pie plate and set aside. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the apples, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla – toss to combine and place into the pie crust, dot the 2 Tbsp. butter on top. Place your other crust on top, seal and flute the edges, then make some slits in the top for venting purposes. Brush the milk over the crust top and sprinkle the sugar all over the top.

Place the pie on the a sheet pan for spillage, and bake for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for about 45 minutes more, or until golden brown and bubbling through the vents. Cool for about a half an hour before serving.

Cheese Sauce

A contribution from my sister Sandy who uses this as a sauce for broccoli and cauliflower all through the Autumn & Winter months. It’s almost difficult to eat broccoli without it; it’s unthinkable at Thanksgiving!

2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
3 cups milk
2+ cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, melt the butter then add the flour stirring constantly for at least 1 full minute. Add salt & pepper to taste (this is approximately 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper). While still stirring, slowly add the milk and keep stirring until the sauce thickens – may take a couple of minutes. Then add the cheese – we just grab 2 heaping handfuls of the shredded cheddar and add it to the pot. Keep stirring & heating until thick. Pour into something like a gravy boat. Serve.

My Thanksgiving Meal – 2009

Here’s what we’ll be having for our Thanksgiving meal. No soup this year, and the desserts will be simple. But what never changes is the turkey recipe, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving in the DVD player and the Christmas music – gotta have it. Good cheer to all!

Divorce Court Turkey – (See Poultry Category)
Mashed potatoes- (See Vegetables Category)
All American Bread Stuffing – (See Holidays & Special Occasions Category)
Corn and broccoli
Cranberry Sauce – (See Sauce Category or use the canned)
Rolls – (Fresh from the bakery section of our local grocer)

Taste of Heaven – (See Desserts Category)
Best Apple Pie – (See Pies Category)